The Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU) has expressed concern over the increase of unilateral approaches promoting isolationist and protectionist policies which undermine the values of “living together in peace”.
According to an AU statement on Wednesday, in its latest meeting on the impact of COVID-19 on living together in peace, the Council has called on the World Health Organization (WHO) to support the efforts of the continent, through the Africa CDC, to limit the impact of these developments and also facilitate access to medical supplies needed in the fight against COVID-19.
Hailing the initiatives taken by member states to produce critical medical supplies required in the fight against COVID-19, the Council has requested the AU Commission, working in close collaboration with AUDA-NEPAD, to explore means and ways of promoting and supporting the production of medical supplies in the continent, as part of the process of promoting home grown solutions to challenges currently facing the continent, as well as for responses to similar situations in the future.
The Council has expressed deep concern over the continued propagation of “false information about the COVID-19 pandemic including the exploitation of the COVID-19 crisis by cyber-criminals through cyber-attacks against critical information systems of hospitals, which is gravely undermining the efforts of member states to eradicate the pandemic and is also contributing to inciting violence against some vulnerable sections of society and to recruit them into criminal and terrorist groups.”
With regard to this, the Council has urged AU member states to continue to raise public awareness on the COVID-19 pandemic and to encourage their populations to only rely on official information that is disseminated by national health authorities, Africa CDC and the WHO on all matters relating to the pandemic.
It has also urged member states to take necessary measures to prevent the use of social media to spread false information about COVID-19, in order to prevent distress and panic among the population.
The Council has underlined on the importance of further strengthening the commitment of Africa to speak with one voice in defending and promoting Africa’s common positions and interests. Enditem